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12 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

There’s lots of outdoor activities in the warmer months. Mountain bike riding on the slickrock, driving dune buggies, tons of hiking. There are a bunch of bars, restaurants and quirky shops in Moab too. And if you like the tourist trap stuff, they have that there as well.

Thanks, will be with my teenage daughters so outside of Arches and maybe Canyonlands, will probably do the random shopping and stuff. Will look at the Dune buggies as well....

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Just returned from our trip out west and figured Id leave a review for anyone considering this trip in the future. Keep in mind that we did this early June, so conditions will be different depending o

Just got back from our trip, I ran out of adjectives on day 3. Breathtaking stuff. I'll post pictures once I go through the 2,000+ the wife and I took. Day 1 - Flew into Phoenix, took the scenic

Assuming you're gong to the Grand Canyon I'd also include Zion Nat'l Park and Bryce Canyon while you're in the neighborhood....

32 minutes ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Thanks, will be with my teenage daughters so outside of Arches and maybe Canyonlands, will probably do the random shopping and stuff. Will look at the Dune buggies as well....

Dead Horse Point State Park is supposed to be good. I haven’t been, but heard good things. 

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13 minutes ago, dgreen said:

Dead Horse Point State Park is supposed to be good. I haven’t been, but heard good things. 

I saw that too, looks cool. We only have two full days and one will be Arches. 2nd day was going to be Canyonlands with maybe a Dead Horse stop but also now looking at half day rafting and/or the zip lines instead. Don’t want to run the family completely ragged! Tough to choose....

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On 1/18/2021 at 7:38 AM, Andy Dufresne said:

Since we can fly from MSP to Las Vegas for about $65/person, we're thinking of going to Zion then to Moab and back again on a Sun-Thursday or so trip.

Is that too aggressive? Is there a lot to see even on the drive so that it would be worth it? Maybe just do Zion & Bryce?

Any decent, out of the norm, places to stay? 

That may be a lot of ground to cover over that time period. It depends on if Sun - Thur includes your flying days, what time of year you are going, and what you plan to do.

You could easily spend 2-3 days just at Zion if you want to. There are plenty of hikes and things to check out. Add Byrce and Cedar Breaks and you can have a real full itinerary without spending all your time in the car.

If you don't really plan on hiking or spending time in anyone place you could conceivable go to Arches. I would take HWY 12 through Escalante if you go that route. Lots of cool landscapes to see. It will take longer but be a lot more interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heard a pretty cool/amazing stat recently: the total area of US National parkland is 3 times bigger than all of England. Definitely gives some perspective on just how much cool stuff we have in the US to go explore.

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On 1/19/2021 at 7:57 PM, dgreen said:

Dead Horse Point State Park is supposed to be good. I haven’t been, but heard good things. 

Been a few times.  Once we were running out of gas and it was getting dark, not a single car in sight, tons of mice running across the road.  We parked on the side of the road on a steep incline and decided to camp right their for the night.  

The reason I remember that trip is because the next morning as we were breaking camp I looked down and a scorpion was crawling down between my legs.

The story about its name is terribly sad.  

Go to the 7:00 minute mark of THIS video to hear the story.

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Preliminary 3 day Yellowstone agenda- what am I missing? Anything near Lake Yellowstone a must see? Highly suggest staying in park or do a Vrbo just outside? Any tips appreciated. As of now just preplanning for summer 2022 and just know the park highlights and main areas.

 

Day 1- Norris Geyser, Mammoth springs area

Day 2- Grand a canyon area- Uncle Toms trail, Artist Point etc

Day 3- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic spring hike, 

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1 hour ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Preliminary 3 day Yellowstone agenda- what am I missing? Anything near Lake Yellowstone a must see? Highly suggest staying in park or do a Vrbo just outside? Any tips appreciated. As of now just preplanning for summer 2022 and just know the park highlights and main areas.

 

Day 1- Norris Geyser, Mammoth springs area

Day 2- Grand a canyon area- Uncle Toms trail, Artist Point etc

Day 3- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic spring hike, 

Yellowstone is a really massive park. If you want to make the most of your time there, stay in the park IMO as the amount of time you’ll spend getting in and out of the park and to where you want to go will eat up a TON of your time if you stay outside the park.

In fact, you may even want to consider staying in a couple of different lodges/cabins within the park. Maybe Mammoth Hot Springs or Roosevelt to start and then around Yellowstone Lake or the Old Faithful area after.

Definitely make sure you drive through the Lamar Valley area in the morning or evening to see a bunch of the wildlife.

If you are looking for any hikes away from most other people that are really beautiful, Trout Lake in the Lamar Valley area is an awesome hike up a steep hill that opens up to a stroll through a field of wildflowers around a peaceful lake. Chances are the only other folks you may see are some quiet fisherman around the lake. Another great hike is Storm Point at Lake Yellowstone. Super quiet hike in and through a forest that opens up to some wildflower meadows and along the shore of the lake. The only thing about that hike is it was definitely the one time I was concerned about bears a bit due to the location and there being virtually nobody else there.

A note on the Grand Prismatic Spring hike: it doesn’t start at the parking area for Grand Prismatic. You need to park at the Fairy Falls trailhead and hike from there to the overlook. Just be forewarned that you can avoid large crowds by going early in the morning, but that the cool morning temperatures make it so that you can barely see Grand Prismatic because of all the steam coming off of it. If you go later, the steam will have mostly burned off and you’ll have a better view, but the hike and overlook start to get really crowded.

For food, the lodges are definitely not cheap, but the food is actually pretty darn good. And we didn’t do it on my trip with my family on 2019, but I still remember loving doing the cowboy cookout at Roosevelt where you ride horses through the woods to a campfire dinner and then ride back. Kind of touristy but fun.

Oh, and use the new national parks app to get tons of info, trails, and I believe they even have geyser eruption times.

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30 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

Yellowstone is a really massive park. If you want to make the most of your time there, stay in the park IMO as the amount of time you’ll spend getting in and out of the park and to where you want to go will eat up a TON of your time if you stay outside the park.

In fact, you may even want to consider staying in a couple of different lodges/cabins within the park. Maybe Mammoth Hot Springs or Roosevelt to start and then around Yellowstone Lake or the Old Faithful area after.

Definitely make sure you drive through the Lamar Valley area in the morning or evening to see a bunch of the wildlife.

If you are looking for any hikes away from most other people that are really beautiful, Trout Lake in the Lamar Valley area is an awesome hike up a steep hill that opens up to a stroll through a field of wildflowers around a peaceful lake. Chances are the only other folks you may see are some quiet fisherman around the lake. Another great hike is Storm Point at Lake Yellowstone. Super quiet hike in and through a forest that opens up to some wildflower meadows and along the shore of the lake. The only thing about that hike is it was definitely the one time I was concerned about bears a bit due to the location and there being virtually nobody else there.

A note on the Grand Prismatic Spring hike: it doesn’t start at the parking area for Grand Prismatic. You need to park at the Fairy Falls trailhead and hike from there to the overlook. Just be forewarned that you can avoid large crowds by going early in the morning, but that the cool morning temperatures make it so that you can barely see Grand Prismatic because of all the steam coming off of it. If you go later, the steam will have mostly burned off and you’ll have a better view, but the hike and overlook start to get really crowded.

For food, the lodges are definitely not cheap, but the food is actually pretty darn good. And we didn’t do it on my trip with my family on 2019, but I still remember loving doing the cowboy cookout at Roosevelt where you ride horses through the woods to a campfire dinner and then ride back. Kind of touristy but fun.

Oh, and use the new national parks app to get tons of info, trails, and I believe they even have geyser eruption times.

Thanks, good info. Was looking at maybe 2 days near Mammoth then 2 at Old Faithful (seems easier to stay in one “loop” per day), but some of the nice vrbos were tempting. I don’t want to waste a chunk of the day though like you said. 

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2 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Preliminary 3 day Yellowstone agenda- what am I missing? Anything near Lake Yellowstone a must see? Highly suggest staying in park or do a Vrbo just outside? Any tips appreciated. As of now just preplanning for summer 2022 and just know the park highlights and main areas.

 

Day 1- Norris Geyser, Mammoth springs area

Day 2- Grand a canyon area- Uncle Toms trail, Artist Point etc

Day 3- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic spring hike, 

That's a good list.

I loved the Lake Yellowstone Hotel (the yellow one), especially the common room in the evenings -- it was like going back in time.  But I don't recall anything there being mind-blowing right outside the hotel.  We did a nice hike up the hill behind the hotel, but honestly probably similar to many many hikes in the park.

We also hiked up Mount Washburn(?) to the weather station there, which was pretty cool.

Leave lots of time for just safari-driving.  The one regret I have is that I didn't invest in a good spotting scope.  I'd have sat all day at one of the areas overlooking the valleys.

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2 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

That's a good list.

I loved the Lake Yellowstone Hotel (the yellow one), especially the common room in the evenings -- it was like going back in time.  But I don't recall anything there being mind-blowing right outside the hotel.  We did a nice hike up the hill behind the hotel, but honestly probably similar to many many hikes in the park.

We also hiked up Mount Washburn(?) to the weather station there, which was pretty cool.

Leave lots of time for just safari-driving.  The one regret I have is that I didn't invest in a good spotting scope.  I'd have sat all day at one of the areas overlooking the valleys.

The second best thing to having a scope is getting up super early in the morning and heading to the Lamar Valley or Hayden Valley areas and finding where everyone is stopped and outside their cars. There are often old guys who live in the area that are out there with their scopes all the time and are willing to let you look through their scope. They often know a ton about the animals they’re looking at too. One guy knew what number Wolf we were looking at and told us all about her.

And mornings and evenings are definitely the times that you’ll see the most wildlife and the fewest people. The vast majority of people like to sleep in on vacation and then do dinner and hang out at night. That’s certainly valid. But in national parks, that opens up your best opportunity to see and do things with the least number of people. Just remember that it’s also the favorite time for bears and other large animals and that obeying the parks rules regarding wildlife and staying on marked trails/boardwalks near thermal features is for both your protection and the animals’/environment’s protection as well.

Oh, and yes, the Lake Yellowstone hotel is beautiful. If you are ok with a cabin and want to save some money, the Lake Yellowstone Cottages are pretty nice and you can then go hangout in the hotel if you’d like.

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On 2/3/2021 at 8:32 AM, Bracie Smathers said:

Been a few times.  Once we were running out of gas and it was getting dark, not a single car in sight, tons of mice running across the road.  We parked on the side of the road on a steep incline and decided to camp right their for the night.  

The reason I remember that trip is because the next morning as we were breaking camp I looked down and a scorpion was crawling down between my legs.

The story about its name is terribly sad.  

Go to the 7:00 minute mark of THIS video to hear the story.

Jeeze, this place is really remote. Looks beautiful too.

Edited by Desert_Power
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17 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Preliminary 3 day Yellowstone agenda- what am I missing? Anything near Lake Yellowstone a must see? Highly suggest staying in park or do a Vrbo just outside? Any tips appreciated. As of now just preplanning for summer 2022 and just know the park highlights and main areas.

 

Day 1- Norris Geyser, Mammoth springs area

Day 2- Grand a canyon area- Uncle Toms trail, Artist Point etc

Day 3- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic spring hike, 

Yellowstone Lake tip: Have to find the obscure steep road that goes up to Yellowstone Lake Butte Overlook for a panorama 📸 VIEW.

Yellowstone is incredibly crowded, you have to get their early to secure a cabin or camping spot but if you are headed up to Mammoth then you probably already know about Gardiner Montana which is LITERALLY at the north entrance.  You 'should' be able to find lodging their for the first night and then head into the park early to secure a cabin if you want lodging/camping inside the park.  

IMHO Artist Point is THEE singular best spot in Yellowstone.  Awesome.

Without a doubt you need to get to Grand Prismatic early before the parking lot fills up.  Its a nightmare if you don't their early.  I suggest after taking in Grand Prismatic that you take the hike up to Mystic Falls which is right next to Grand Prismatic.  The 'wispy look' is due to steam from hot springs located in the falls.  Its not that long a HIKE and worth it especially since you get an overview of Grand Prismatic from Biscuit Basin Overlook which is on the trail to Mystic Falls.

If you are going to be in Yellowstone for 3 days and want to see wildlife then...  The Lamar Valley has a wolf pack.  Find a ranger or even a worker at one of the shops and ask if they have taken down big game because they will be feeding on the kill for days and you 'might' be lucky enough to be see from the road.  

For grizzly bears, the road to Cody has a lot of grizzly activity.  I've seen them the last few times I've taken the road.

I highly suggest heading south down to Grand Teton National Park for a day trip.  Its basically connected to Yellowstone and well worth the trip.

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11 hours ago, Desert_Power said:

Jeeze, this place is really remote. Looks beautiful too.

It is.  Basically the entire complex is erosion from the Colorado and Green Rivers and begins in Colorado at the Colorado National Monument before it begins to widen at Canyonlands.  It keeps going south eventually ending at the Grand Canyon.  

That entire area is hauntingly beautiful and remote.  Never go unprepared.  Lots of people go missing in the maze.

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For those who have hiked the Narrows at Zion, what suggestions would you have? Was thinking of renting shoes and poles even though it would probably be a pain to pick up and return and cost $100 for the 4 of us. 

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6 minutes ago, 3 hour lunch said:

For those who have hiked the Narrows at Zion, what suggestions would you have? Was thinking of renting shoes and poles even though it would probably be a pain to pick up and return and cost $100 for the 4 of us. 

What are the ages of your group? What time of year are you going? How experienced of hikers is your group? Does anyone have balance issues? Does everyone have footwear with good treads that can get wet?

Your big issues are dealing with potentially cold water, balance, and protecting your feet. We rented shoes/neoprene socks and sticks. Personally I didn’t feel like the sticks were super helpful. I felt like it got carried by the current a lot and was difficult to get planted well quite often. For someone that doesn’t have great balance, I could see it being some help possibly, but if balance is really an issue they maybe shouldn’t be doing that hike anyway.

The shoes/socks were meh. They did a decent job keeping my feet warm and provided great protection against the rocks, but they are pretty big and clunky. I feel like my trail runners wouldn’t have done as good of a job keeping my feet warm, but would have given me better balance and been less heavy.

I will definitely say that I underestimated how difficult it is to walk upstream against that current on that riverbed. I saw it described as trying to walk on a bed of slipper bowling balls and that’s pretty close to accurate. The riverbed is extremely rocky and the rocks are very slippery. Trying to keep balance in deeper areas with a pretty good current was not all that easy. My wife has some balance issues due to her MS and it ended up being a mistake for her trying to do it. The river knocked her off her feet and she banged her knee pretty good ending our hike before we got all that far in.

I could definitely see me doing it myself with no stick and either good wool socks or no socks in my trail runners. Depending on the time of year, the rental shoes/socks could make you more comfortable by keeping your feet from freezing the whole time. And you definitely want to make sure you have some dry clothes and footwear for the return IMO.

On, and save up a bit of energy for the walk back to the bus. It’s not a difficult trail or anything, but it’s a bit of a walk from the start of the Narrows hike in the river back to the bus stop. If you’ve exhausted yourself in the river, that walk back is going to feel super long.

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19 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

What are the ages of your group? What time of year are you going? How experienced of hikers is your group? Does anyone have balance issues? Does everyone have footwear with good treads that can get wet?

Your big issues are dealing with potentially cold water, balance, and protecting your feet. We rented shoes/neoprene socks and sticks. Personally I didn’t feel like the sticks were super helpful. I felt like it got carried by the current a lot and was difficult to get planted well quite often. For someone that doesn’t have great balance, I could see it being some help possibly, but if balance is really an issue they maybe shouldn’t be doing that hike anyway.

The shoes/socks were meh. They did a decent job keeping my feet warm and provided great protection against the rocks, but they are pretty big and clunky. I feel like my trail runners wouldn’t have done as good of a job keeping my feet warm, but would have given me better balance and been less heavy.

I will definitely say that I underestimated how difficult it is to walk upstream against that current on that riverbed. I saw it described as trying to walk on a bed of slipper bowling balls and that’s pretty close to accurate. The riverbed is extremely rocky and the rocks are very slippery. Trying to keep balance in deeper areas with a pretty good current was not all that easy. My wife has some balance issues due to her MS and it ended up being a mistake for her trying to do it. The river knocked her off her feet and she banged her knee pretty good ending our hike before we got all that far in.

I could definitely see me doing it myself with no stick and either good wool socks or no socks in my trail runners. Depending on the time of year, the rental shoes/socks could make you more comfortable by keeping your feet from freezing the whole time. And you definitely want to make sure you have some dry clothes and footwear for the return IMO.

On, and save up a bit of energy for the walk back to the bus. It’s not a difficult trail or anything, but it’s a bit of a walk from the start of the Narrows hike in the river back to the bus stop. If you’ve exhausted yourself in the river, that walk back is going to feel super long.

Thanks....we are going in June and we’re in our 40s with girls 15 and 13. No hiking experience at all, really; but no medical or balance issues. I have some supposedly waterproof Merrells but have never done anything like this in them. My wife and kids will need new shoes for the trip that we have not even purchased yet. Don’t have to make a decision for a while but was just curious what people thought. A couple of klutzes in this house so maybe just rent for the sticks and to keep our regular shoes dry!

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6 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

For those who have hiked the Narrows at Zion, what suggestions would you have? Was thinking of renting shoes and poles even though it would probably be a pain to pick up and return and cost $100 for the 4 of us. 

I rented neoprene shoes and socks and didn't have any regrets.  The pick up and return wasn't too bad as there is a place right by entrance to Zion.  They do make you watch a video, but it's like 10 minutes.  For my first time, I didn't find it too botheersome. 

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5 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Thanks....we are going in June and we’re in our 40s with girls 15 and 13. No hiking experience at all, really; but no medical or balance issues. I have some supposedly waterproof Merrells but have never done anything like this in them. My wife and kids will need new shoes for the trip that we have not even purchased yet. Don’t have to make a decision for a while but was just curious what people thought. A couple of klutzes in this house so maybe just rent for the sticks and to keep our regular shoes dry!

I had no trouble, but did see several people slip and fall. Look down where you are going to step. I found that stepping between rocks (on river bottom) or directly on top of one was the easiest. Water is/can be waist high at points so you will get wet.

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7 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

For those who have hiked the Narrows at Zion, what suggestions would you have? Was thinking of renting shoes and poles even though it would probably be a pain to pick up and return and cost $100 for the 4 of us. 

It depends on how far you plan to hike. I have done top down (about 15 miles) 5 times. I wouldn't ever consider doing the hike without the shoes or some type of stick. The grip and warmth of the shoes and the balance and exploration of the stick are all essential. If you are planning a few hours of hiking from the bottom up you can get away without renting shoes but it may be less comfortable. I've hike with people who didn't get the shoes and they are always way behind the rest of the group.

Like The Man with No Name said, stepping between rocks rather than on top of rocks is key. You will keep your balance a lot easier. Also take your time and don't rush. If you get moving to fast you are bound to slip and hurt yourself.

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1 hour ago, This_Guy said:

It depends on how far you plan to hike. I have done top down (about 15 miles) 5 times. I wouldn't ever consider doing the hike without the shoes or some type of stick. The grip and warmth of the shoes and the balance and exploration of the stick are all essential. If you are planning a few hours of hiking from the bottom up you can get away without renting shoes but it may be less comfortable. I've hike with people who didn't get the shoes and they are always way behind the rest of the group.

Like The Man with No Name said, stepping between rocks rather than on top of rocks is key. You will keep your balance a lot easier. Also take your time and don't rush. If you get moving to fast you are bound to slip and hurt yourself.

Thanks to all the replies. I would love to get to Wall Street at least but not sure I’ll be able to get my family that far even though it’s only 2 miles. The only reason it will be sort of a pain for us is because we’re staying at the Lodge inside the park so would have to leave, rent, then potentially wait to get back in.

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4 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Thanks to all the replies. I would love to get to Wall Street at least but not sure I’ll be able to get my family that far even though it’s only 2 miles. The only reason it will be sort of a pain for us is because we’re staying at the Lodge inside the park so would have to leave, rent, then potentially wait to get back in.

Check with the rental companies. I think you can pick equipment up the night before and only pay 1 day rental if you return it by the end of the day. 

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On 2/10/2021 at 1:51 PM, 3 hour lunch said:

Preliminary 3 day Yellowstone agenda- what am I missing? Anything near Lake Yellowstone a must see? Highly suggest staying in park or do a Vrbo just outside? Any tips appreciated. As of now just preplanning for summer 2022 and just know the park highlights and main areas.

 

Day 1- Norris Geyser, Mammoth springs area

Day 2- Grand a canyon area- Uncle Toms trail, Artist Point etc

Day 3- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic spring hike, 

We camped for 2 nights in Madison Campground and loved it.  But we like to tent camp.  I know that isn't for everybody, but it worked for us.  Cheap and the stargazing from sitting around the campfire was otherworldly.  Got cold at night, tho and you could hear wolves howling, which was really cool. 

You've got great advice so far, but one tip on Old Faithful - you can hike up about half a mile from the large viewing area outside the lodge and get a great view of the eruption from up in the air and away from the throngs of people.  You might share the viewing area up there with a dozen or so other folks.  Plenty of other geysers around that area that you can watch spout up into the air.  It's really amazing.  Wooden boardwalks all over where you can explore and see some of the natural features up close. 

Yellowstone for us is what Disney is for other families.  Just magical.

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32 minutes ago, General Malaise said:


Yellowstone for us is what Disney is for other families.  Just magical.

If I had the ability to go spend an entire summer at Yellowstone, I would do it in a heartbeat. Definitely one of my favorite places on earth that I could spend endless hours exploring.

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1 hour ago, General Malaise said:

We camped for 2 nights in Madison Campground and loved it.  But we like to tent camp.  I know that isn't for everybody, but it worked for us.  Cheap and the stargazing from sitting around the campfire was otherworldly.  Got cold at night, tho and you could hear wolves howling, which was really cool. 

You've got great advice so far, but one tip on Old Faithful - you can hike up about half a mile from the large viewing area outside the lodge and get a great view of the eruption from up in the air and away from the throngs of people.  You might share the viewing area up there with a dozen or so other folks.  Plenty of other geysers around that area that you can watch spout up into the air.  It's really amazing.  Wooden boardwalks all over where you can explore and see some of the natural features up close. 

Yellowstone for us is what Disney is for other families.  Just magical.

Thanks- is it “obvious” how to get up there? Planning on staying at the Old Faithful Inn for a couple of nights. 

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39 minutes ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Thanks- is it “obvious” how to get up there? Planning on staying at the Old Faithful Inn for a couple of nights. 

Oh yeah, there's signs pointing you to the trail up to the viewpoint. Not a strenuous hike, but there is some elevation and rocks to climb over.  Totally worth it, though.  

Covid kept crowds relatively low while we were there but early birds get the proverbial worm so try to get a jump early and plan your day out in advance.  There is just sooooooooooooo much to see and do.  I could spend a month there and not get bored. 

The park rangers are all first class - I have to think that's a primo job so the "A team" gets to work there.  Friendly, patient, helpful and incredibly knowledgeable.  And I mean everybody we encountered from the gal selling firewood to the fella handing out junior ranger materials to our kids.  

Some hikes and swim spots were closed while we were there.  Road to Tower was closed.  Hope that's not the case for you but regardless, you'll love it.  

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17 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:

Thanks- is it “obvious” how to get up there? Planning on staying at the Old Faithful Inn for a couple of nights. 

Did you put in your reservations four years ago? 

I believe that is what the waiting list looked like the last time I checked which was about 20 years ago but even with COVID I have to believe the list is at least a year.

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3 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Did you put in your reservations four years ago? 

I believe that is what the waiting list looked like the last time I checked which was about 20 years ago but even with COVID I have to believe the list is at least a year.

From what I had read, reservations open May 1 for the following year

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16 minutes ago, 3 hour lunch said:

From what I had read, reservations open May 1 for the following year

That has typically been the case recently. That’s what we did for our 2019 reservations. Called right when they opened on May 1 2018 and made our reservations for summer 2019. Xanterra operates the in-park lodging. Their website says that they are rolling out a new reservation system. Not sure if that changes anything at all though.

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22 hours ago, 3 hour lunch said:
On 2/19/2021 at 10:06 AM, Bracie Smathers said:

with COVID I have to believe the list is at least a year.

From what I had read, reservations open May 1 for the following year

In summer of 2019 we 'thought' we could get camping on the Pacific coast in the Redwoods, nah.  They had a 6 month waiting list backed up so get reservations in early if you want a res for the lodge.  I have to imagine they go quick.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any feelings on Joshua Tree? Thinking of heading there in early May. Understand it will be hot/warm. Not camping this time around. Best to stay in Palm Springs? Not into gambling, shopping, etc. Looks like there may be a few things to do around there too, like San Jacinto Mountains.

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1 hour ago, ex-ghost said:

Any feelings on Joshua Tree? Thinking of heading there in early May. Understand it will be hot/warm. Not camping this time around. Best to stay in Palm Springs? Not into gambling, shopping, etc. Looks like there may be a few things to do around there too, like San Jacinto Mountains.

That is actually a great time to go weather wise. It generally won't be too hot yet.

Where to stay really depends on what type of experience you're looking for. Palm Springs is a good hour+ drive to get into the park. There are lots of hotels, resorts, restaurants, golf if that is what you are looking for.  If you want something more isolated, natural and relaxed find an AirBnB near Yucca Valley or the town of Joshua Tree. Its on the North side of the park. Lots of places out in the desert with lots of space.

At JTNP the Keys Ranch Tour is great if you like history. Buy tickets in advance. Tons of great hikes of various lengths and good rock climbing if you're into that.

The Aerial Tram to Mt San Jacinto is great. Lots of hikes you can do at the top. The Living Desert is also great.

Pappy & Harriet's is a fun place to get dinner. Particularly if they have live music. Make a reservation well in advance if you plan to go.

The Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum is also an off beat experience if you're into that type of thing.

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8 hours ago, ex-ghost said:

Any feelings on Joshua Tree? Thinking of heading there in early May. Understand it will be hot/warm. Not camping this time around. Best to stay in Palm Springs? Not into gambling, shopping, etc. Looks like there may be a few things to do around there too, like San Jacinto Mountains.

I'm heading there in about a week, planning to spend five days backpacking and shooting stills/video - I'll report back after the trip! I've been there once before and it's excellent for photography and surreal landscapes.

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Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a hidden gem! Great camping there as well. I shot some photos in November: My Blog

 

Edited by cactus
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2 hours ago, cactus said:

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a hidden gem! Great camping there as well. I shot some photos in November: My Blog

 

I've wanted to go for a few years but its remote.  I mean its in the middle of nowhere. 

I'd taken a trip to a remote Utah destination a few years back that was unique but I have to confess it wasn't worth the effort.   

Hovenweep National Monument  

No crowds for good reason.  Just too much of an effort.

I do want to get to Goblin but I would have to combine it with a trip to the The Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon because that is another place I've been wanting to see for years.  Go to the 5:00 minute mark to see the pictographs.  We found pictographs that others typically don't see when we went off trail at Dinosaur National Monument.  It is amazing to see pictographs by ancients. 

Also I've been told I need to see Capital Reef  National Park.  

I'll have to do a huge SW trip because I want to see Chaco Canyon in NM and see Ship Rock

Of the SW those are ones on my list that I haven't seen but want to.

Goblin looks cool.😎

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17 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

I've wanted to go for a few years but its remote.  I mean its in the middle of nowhere. 

I'd taken a trip to a remote Utah destination a few years back that was unique but I have to confess it wasn't worth the effort.   

Hovenweep National Monument  

No crowds for good reason.  Just too much of an effort.

I do want to get to Goblin but I would have to combine it with a trip to the The Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon because that is another place I've been wanting to see for years.  Go to the 5:00 minute mark to see the pictographs.  We found pictographs that others typically don't see when we went off trail at Dinosaur National Monument.  It is amazing to see pictographs by ancients. 

Also I've been told I need to see Capital Reef  National Park.  

I'll have to do a huge SW trip because I want to see Chaco Canyon in NM and see Ship Rock

Of the SW those are ones on my list that I haven't seen but want to.

Goblin looks cool.😎

Capitol Reef is great. Highly recommend a 4WD vehicle with high ground clearance as a lot of the best hiking spots are not super accessible to vehicles that can’t handle the roads. It’s definitely sorta in the middle of nowhere though. 

Cafe Diablo in the area has amazing food. Crazy that a place like that exists where it exists. There‘s seriously like nothing else around it except this tiny little town.

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11 hours ago, ex-ghost said:

Any feelings on Joshua Tree? Thinking of heading there in early May. Understand it will be hot/warm. Not camping this time around. Best to stay in Palm Springs? Not into gambling, shopping, etc. Looks like there may be a few things to do around there too, like San Jacinto Mountains.

We stayed at an AirBnB in Desert Hot Springs - a good mid-way location between Palm Springs and the park. Worked well for us to enjoy the park during the day and then enjoy PS at night. Joshua Tree is cool - different than I expected and very different than the parks in Utah, for example. We enjoyed hiking and my boys learned how to rock climb with a guide.

Side note - if you like Tiki bars, there is a great place in PS called "Reef". You can sit outside by the pool, soak in the great classic music and enjoy good food - it's a fantastic setting. We also drove around looking at classic mid-century homes that PS is known for. There are some amazing homes and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours seeing the style that made PS semi-famous.

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Heading to Glacier this summer.  Going to take the Amtrak from Chicago and stay in Whitefish on west side.  Will have a rental car.  Recommendations welcome.  Would like to try white water rafting, but don't want to do too extreme with my 11 year old daughter.

Also will do our normal one or two trips to Natural Bridge/Daniel Boone National Forest area in eastern Kentucky.  

Also looking at Mammoth Cave.  

Just trying to figure out how to fit everything in before my son starts marching band mid-summer.

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7 minutes ago, shuke said:

Heading to Glacier this summer.  Going to take the Amtrak from Chicago and stay in Whitefish on west side.  Will have a rental car.  Recommendations welcome.  Would like to try white water rafting, but don't want to do too extreme with my 11 year old daughter.

You have to stay at Many Glacier part of the NP.  To get to this area you have to show proof of reservations so access is limited.  

Incredible hike that is not easy but check out this vid showing the hike with kids and a 70 year old grandma taking the hike.

You can cut out miles of the hike by taking the ferry, something we didn't do.  A good hike but not horrible.  It looks scarier than it actually is because their is zero chance of falling off the side.

(see video) 🎥 👉 Grinnell  👈Glacier hike, is one of many awesome hikes you can take.

We got a cabin, no shower or toilet but they were within 90 feet from the cabin.  The cost was reasonable $100 a night.  

If the shuttles are running, they weren't last year, then you can take the shuttle to the other hiking trails on Going to Sun Road.

Check out the vid, that guy has tons of other vids showing other hikes.

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4 hours ago, cactus said:

My Blog

Dude, you've been to :tebow: The Superstition Mountains . 

Respect.

Lots of paranormal stories about the Superstitions.

Headless bodies, murders, Indian massacre, lost gold, considered to be the most fearsome mountains in the lower 48.

"I WILL NOT Go Into These Mountains ALONE" but WE DO ! (The MOST HAUNTED Mountain Range in America)

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:45 AM, Bracie Smathers said:

Dude, you've been to :tebow: The Superstition Mountains . 

Respect.

Lots of paranormal stories about the Superstitions.

Headless bodies, murders, Indian massacre, lost gold, considered to be the most fearsome mountains in the lower 48.

"I WILL NOT Go Into These Mountains ALONE" but WE DO ! (The MOST HAUNTED Mountain Range in America)

The Supes are my playground! I've probably spent at least 100 nights out there, almost all of it as a soloist. It's an awesome place... and I've never been worried about ghosts 😃! Now rattlers and scorps, that I worry about!

 

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7 hours ago, cactus said:

The Supes are my playground! I've probably spent at least 100 nights out there, almost all of it as a soloist. It's an awesome place... and I've never been worried about ghosts 😃! Now rattlers and scorps, that I worry about!

Wow, glad I opened this thread, I am heading out there next month to drop off a golf cart at Superstitions Country Club.  Planning on a week or so there.  Playing some golf, but would love tips on where to hike and camp!

We went in November for the first time and dug it, but ended up in Sedona for most of the time.  Which was great, obviously.  Near "Supes", we hiked that touristy trail by the highway, above the golf course, which was fine, but that was the only hike we had time to do in the area.

I am encouraged by your Supes excitement and knowledge!  Fire away, please!!

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On 3/11/2021 at 7:16 AM, cactus said:

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a hidden gem! Great camping there as well. I shot some photos in November: My Blog

 

Awesome pictures man. This place is on my list when I make it out west. 

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For the last couple of months I've been researching a trip out west to see some National Parks. My original plan was to fly out to Vegas for one night, get a rental and spend about ten days or so doing my version of the Grand Circle or possibly ending up in SLC. There are 6 National Parks and 4 State Parks that interest me as well as maybe Page, AZ. 

Well my plans have come to a stall and are getting ready to change in a major way. On the 23rd the wife and I are flying to Tampa with the plan to drive home a new RV. We already have a deposit put down and a motorhome on hold. As lond as the inspection process goes well we will be driving it home the next day. 

Does anyone else own an RV, towable, 5th wheel, toy hauler and camp? We're pretty excited. 

It's gonna be a challenge and a lot of fun planning a trip out west with an RV. I guess I'm going to learn a lot as I go. 

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